Robert A.M. Stern Architects Reveals Second Sketch Gallery Show

Hand, Eye & Brain: A Gallery of Design Sketches by RAMSA Staff at the firm's Manhattan office. Image courtesy of Robert A.M. Stern Architects.

Robert A.M. Stern Architects has unveiled Hand, Eye & Brain: A Gallery of Design Sketches by RAMSA Staff, the firm’s second exhibition. Displayed in their Manhattan headquarters, the showcase demonstrates hand-drawing’s vital role in the firm’s design process.

James Pearson, Stone Shop Drawing – Clarification Sketches. George W. Bush Presidential Center, Dallas, Texas, 2011. Pencil and Pen, 18” x 24”. Sketch courtesy of Robert A.M. Stern Architects.

“Hand-drawing is at the heart of the culture of our practice, and we want not merely to recognize it but to celebrate it,” says founding principal Robert A.M. Stern, an Interior Design Hall of Fame member. The sketches include those of team members of all levels responding to issues stemming from particular commissions. Everything from preliminary ideas to final touches are represented in the show.

Robert A.M. Stern, Character Sketch. Immanuel Chapel, Virginia Theological Seminary, Alexandria, Virginia, 2011. Sketch courtesy of Robert A.M. Stern Architects.

The exhibition also comments on the digitalization of the contemporary design process. Stern said he welcomes “the introduction of digital techniques into practice and into education for practice,” but that they shouldn’t function as replacements for what came before, namely hand-sketching and model-making. “Creativity lies in the designer, not in the software. The mind/hand connection is still crucial to the creative process, and to craft. To draw is to analyze,” he says.

Huaxia Song, Business Hotel Front Elevation. Chongqing City Center, Chongqing China, 2013. Pen, 9” x 29”. Sketch courtesy of Robert A.M. Stern Architects.
Kevin Smith, Entry View.  Museum Center at the Mark Twain House, Hartford, Connecticut, 2000. Sketch courtesy of Robert A.M. Stern Architects.
Tomasz Smierzchalski, North Villa East Elevation Studies. Heart of Lake, Xiamen, China, 2015. Sketch courtesy of Robert A.M. Stern Architects.

Hand, Eye & Brain: A Gallery of Design Sketches by RAMSA Staff will display into the fall at the firm's Manhattan office.

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